When someone dies in Waupaca County, Deputy Coroner Cindy Tate is usually the person who responds.
Her job is to investigate and document any evidence regarding the cause of the person’s death.
“From the time I get out of my vehicle, to the time I get back into my vehicle, I document the scene with my camera,” Tate said. “I am responsible for the deceased until I have gathered sufficient evidence to release the body for final disposition.”
After gathering evidence, Tate determines whether the body will be transported to a funeral home or to the medical examiner’s office for a forensic autopsy.
Coroners are required to attend the autopsy so there is a chain of custody for the body in case the death is further investigated.
They also are responsible for determining the final cause of death and signing the death certificate.
“My ultimate goal is to tell the story of the deceased and be their final voice,” she said. “I feel a sense of accomplishment being able to determine what transpired and explain it to the family to provide them closure.”
In addition to serving eight years as a deputy coroner, Tate is Riverside Medical Center’s facilitator for the ThedaCare Improvement System.
Tate holds a bachelor’s degree with a major in biology, a double minor in psychology and criminal justice, and an emphasis in forensics.
She wrote her boards examination and is a Diplomat Registered Medicolegal Death Investigator.